November 2008 Issue

Foster a Kitten: And Save a Life

It's an important and rewarding job ó but learn the finer points of kitten care first.

Consider this: One cat and her offspring can produce a whopping 420,000 cats in just seven years. Yikes, thatís a lot of cats. Each year, from April to November, hundreds of thousands of kittens are born ó often to feral or stray moms that eke out a meager existence on our city streets, in the suburbs and in rural areas across America. Without human intervention, most of these newborns will die or, at best, lead short, miserable lives. The moms that are not killed by cars, other animals or disease, will repeatedly become pregnant, adding to the already crushing pet overpopulation problem. Aside from ensuring that your own cats are spayed and neutered, consider fostering a litter of homeless kittens. Sadly, many animal shelters donít have the staff or resources available to care for kittens that are ill or too young for adoption. Newborn kittens that have lost their mom must be bottle-fed around the clock and their tiny bladders and bowels must be expressed on a regular basis. Animal shelters that have kitten foster programs in place need dedicated people who are willing to welcome kittens into their home and nurture them until they are old enough to be placed for adoption.

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